Race report by P.Y.Tang
From Left: P.Y.Tang (1st), Jackie Siow (2nd), Siow Woon Fong (3rd), Nicholas Lee (TQ)
The inaugural MBA Cup was held at the MBA Resort (Minyak Beku Agrotourism) in Batu Pahat, Malaysia. Located in the Western Johor state, the MBA racetrack is a newly build facility, resort-style environment with chalets and restaurants just across the racetrack. Temporary layout outlined by steel pipes would soon to be completed with proper islands and curbs sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2011. Myself and 7 other drivers from Singapore drove across the border to this unfamiliarize town to compete in this new racetrack along with a some top drivers from Malaysia in the 1/10 EP Open Modified Class. This would be one of the bigger and more exciting race to attend as it attracted Malaysia National Champions 2009 Jackie Siow (Xray/Orca), Malaysia National Champions 2010 Azri Amri (Yokomo/Orca), FEMCA 2010 Champion KS Chu as well as multiple race winners. The event also attracted about 20 drivers in the 1/10 GP Class. We started the journey at 5am in the morning from Singapore on May 7 Saturday, hoping to get a full day of practise before the race on Sunday, arrived at the MBA racetrack at about 9am.
Hitting the first pack at about 10am, track was very tight and technical, traction was pretty good, still running the same Xray T3'11 setup from TITC 2011, laptime was pretty decent on the first run clocking about 14.2s. We know that we are still have some work to do which the local drivers had clocked around 13.6s previously. The steel pipes outlines are very harsh on the car we had to drive cautiously to avoid repairs. Track condition was noticeably changing as the sun heating up the track. I did managed to test some different setups especially on shock oils, springs and ESC settings on the Orca powerplant to get proper traction level. Also changing the roll-center, my car felt a lot better but still lacking on cornering speed. Insert choice was also important to compromise traction and overheating the tires. At the end of the day, I have decided to use the LTC-R bodyshell which gave a better flow at cornering. Testing on a prototype tire cleaner, it helped to improve the traction, managed to reduce the laptime to 13.6s. Things were looking potentially good for raceday.
Sunday started early at 8am, a 3-minute control practise run to re-sort the grouping. I used an old tire set to save up the new tires which are controlled to 2 sets for qualifying, and additional 2 sets for A-Main or 1 set for other mains. I managed to clock a good laptime to put myself No.3 in Group 1. The Q1 was scheduled at about 11am. This heat would be very crucial, as track temperature is still not very high. My Xray T3'11 was feeling very good and set the 2nd fastest just shy at 21 laps at 5:00.031. As seen most of the time, ex-Kyosho team driver Nicholas Lee with a very good run set the fastest time at 22 laps 5:09.385. Nicholas has been untouchable throughout practise and qualifying. As traction level was getting low into the hot afternoon sun, it was more difficult to improve the time but it would still be possible with a clean run. I felt very good with the car, and decided to run front and rear gear diff for Q2 and Q3 to get a bit easier rotation. My car felt a little better around the technical in-field. I had a very good run in Q3 leading the pace but a slight touch from a backmarker at the 4th minute lost almost 4 seconds and the lead. Luckily, no drivers improved their timing and my fastest timing from Q1 would put me 2nd from the pole position. The qualifying ended well with 4 Xray drivers and a whopping 7 Orca drivers in the A-Main including Singapore E.C.Wee which have started racing recently and definitely one of the upcoming driver to look out for.
Top 10 Qualifying Standings EP (A-Main)
1. Nicholas Lee - Tamiya - Speed Passion - Speed Passion - Reedy - 22 laps 5:09.385
2. P.Y.Tang - Xray - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ QX1 - 21 laps 5:00.031
3. Jackie Siow - Xray - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 21 laps 5:02.575
4. Azri Amri - Yokomo - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 21 laps 5:02.673
5. Siow Woon Fong - Sakura - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 21 laps 5:08.039
6. Azhar - Yokomo - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 21 laps 5:09.383
7. Norazam - Tamiya - Dualsky - Dualsky - Dualsky - 21 laps 5:09.492
8. E.C.Wee - Xray - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 21 laps 5:09.813
9. Shahrin - Yokomo - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 21 laps 5:10.969
10. James Ki - Xray - Speed Passion - LRP - Dualsky - 21 laps 5:11.542
Final A1 started with a very good feeling of my car and fresh rubbers. Starting from 2nd can be a very good position. Unfortunately, I had to retire with a failed drivetrain after an aggressive move by car No.3 going into the first corner causing some major accidents. Nicholas Lee held his cool taking Final A1 after multiple attacking from Azhar, Jackie Siow and Azri Amri. I finished 10th in Final A1. Final A2 started off cleaner for myself, trying to be more cautious on the front and back cars paid off. I had to go wide preventing a touch by the back cars, allowed me to squeeze through on the outside from a pileup. I managed to lead the run, with Jackie Siow following closely about 1 second behind. At the 2:00 mark, i made a touch on the pipes after the left sweeper, allowing Jackie Siow to close in right behind me. I had to keep my pace as I was a little faster in and out of sweeper, but Jackie Siow made a mistake out of the right sweeper at 2:30 mark, allowing a big breather for me to and taking the win for Final A2. It was a big relief after retiring 10th in Final A1. Going into Final A3, the track condition would have changed tremendously, traction level should have been increased a lot after the 45-minute GP A-Main as well as the cooler temperature around 5pm. I decided to run harder inserts and also increased the turbo boost settings on my Orca VTC Pro-Spec MK2 ESC. Final A3 started off more cleanly with Nicholas Lee leading followed by me and Jackie Siow. After first lap, I knew I had a faster car, I tried to follow as closely as possible to Nicholas Lee. At the 2:00 mark, I tried to make a move on after the long straight going into the sweeper, but unable to get through. Nicholas Lee touched the side pipes and made a contact to my car causing me to go very wide and lost some grounds. I had to drive super hard and managed to reel in the leader again at 3:00 mark. Nicholas Lee made a small mistake at 3:15 going up the small right chicane in the in-field, I tried to squeeze through but unsuccessful. I had to avoid any contacts as Jackie Siow was not very far behind in 3rd. At the 4:00 mark, I managed to push very close, enough to make a move on the inside after the long straights into the sweeper when Nicholas Lee left a small opening on the inside line. The pass allowed me to take the win for Final A3, followed by Jackie Siow and Azri Amri. Nicholas Lee, unfortunately retired after hitting the side pipes causing his UJ to fail. With the win in Final A3, I was able to take the overall win, and it was a good day for Xray to take top 2, and Orca to take top 4!
Top 10 Final Standings EP (A-Main)
1. P.Y.Tang - Xray - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ QX1 - 2pts
2. Jackie Siow - Xray - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 4pts
3. Siow Woon Fong - Sakura - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 6pts
4. Azri Amri - Yokomo - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 7pts
5. Nicholas Lee - Tamiya - Speed Passion - Speed Passion - Reedy - 7pts
6. Azhar - Yokomo - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 9pts
7. Norazam - Tamiya - Dualsky - Dualsky - Dualsky - 12pts
8. Shahrin - Yokomo - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 12pts
9. E.C.Wee - Xray - Orca Vritra - Orca Infinite - OrcaQ RX2 - 14pts
10. James Ki - Xray - Speed Passion - LRP - Dualsky - 15pts
Watch video of Final A1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkOsCokuQMU
Watch video of Final A2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXQCFhy4aZ8
Watch video of Final A3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLUHis4N0Vo
P.Y.Tang's Xray T3'2011 was equipped with the Orca Vritra VTC Pro-Spec MK2 ESC, Orca QX1 Limited Edition 11.5T Brushless Racing Motor, Orca Infinite 6000 60C 7.4V LiPo, Orca Power Boost, Orca 16V Capacitor Plate, Litemodz CVS, Huge RC Ceramic Bearings and H-Energy 2500 5C 7.4V LiPo for Sanwa M11X Transmitter.
I would like to thank Xray, Orca, Litemodz, Huge R/C, H-Energy for the great support thus far.